In February, 1996, the DPP made a bold attempt to fight for the Legislative Yuan speakership. The so-called "political reform in February" (
In the"political reform in February," the DPP intended to take over the Legislative Yuan speakership by wrestling the big with the small. It planned to form an "administrative alliance (
According to the DPP's interpretation, the newly amended Constitution has made Taiwan a semi-presidential system that is closer to a presidential system. As such, the speaker of the legislature is not that important after the DPP's win in the presidential election. Is it worth a fight to ruin the political milieu just for the seat of congress speaker?
As soon as Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) was elected as the next president, he declared that he would withdraw from all party-related affairs and pledged to become a "president for all people" and to establish a government for the people. This was quite a wise decision because the Cabinet system focuses on the balance between political parties, while the presidential system focuses on the balance between political organizations.
Chen's withdrawal from party-related affairs not only fits the expectations of the public, who tend to hold an aversion to political parties, and the DPP's interpretation of the presidential system, but also spares his party the embarrassment of being a minority in the government.
Nevertheless, if the DPP pushes for a re-election of the Legislative Yuan speakership, it will damage Chen's plan to establish a government for all people. Once the Legislative Yuan speakership is re-elected, the essence of politics will be turned back to a competition between political parties. The KMT, which has been confined by the "government for the people," should be pleased to see it happen.
According to the logic of a semi-presidential system that is closer to a presidential system and of a government for all people, the exercise of power within the congress should be restructured by issues, not by party alliances, and the speaker should remain neutral. Up to the present, the Legislature has been heading in this direction -- which will further stabilize the political milieu.
A chaotic political situation is good for an opposition party, but the DPP should not forget that it has become a ruling party and the situation now is extremely different from that of the "political reform in February."
Chuang Pei-chang is the chief editorial writer for the China Times Express.
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